Better decisions are often made when lots of different views are heard, and when the ideas and skills of people are taken into account. We can better identify problems, and come up with more creative solutions. The community is also more likely to agree with changes when they’ve had a chance to influence them. Civic participation is about making sure people have the understanding and the chance to have a say in decisions that affect them.
As part of our first Open Government National Action Plan, we developed a new government framework that helps make sure that people are heard as government makes decisions or delivers services. The framework provides for a range of forms of participation from which public servants can choose and adapt, based on the nature of each issue. We also built new ways for people to have their say in how the Open Government Partnership itself works.
Some ideas about what government could now do as part of the second National Action Plan include:
- developing ways to better understand how people feel about government and the services it provides
- providing new opportunities for the public to give government decision-makers feedback on how government policies and services are working, identify problems in our community, and develop solutions
- building awareness and skills among public servants so they can better understand the community’s opinions and tap into their expertise
- making a new framework so that Australian states and territories can directly participate in the Open Government Partnership.
- Is this theme relevant both to the Open Government Partnership and Australia’s local context?
- Are the possible commitments effective, relevant and ambitious?
- Are there other possible commitments related to this theme that we should consider adopting?
To participate, you’ll need to register for an account. You’ll then be able to respond to the questions under each of the proposed themes, leave a general comment or respond to those of other participants, and vote on comments.
We expect your comments to be respectful and relevant. As comments are moderated, they won’t appear until they’ve been approved. Comments will close 30 March.
If you wish to make a longer submission, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll publish all submissions we receive.
The outputs from this and the face-to-face consultations will be made available to the Open Government Forum. At its meeting in April, the Forum will be asked to assess those ideas with substantial support, and make recommendations to government on prospective themes and commitments. When government releases its draft National Action Plan for public comments in June, it will also provide a response to ideas.